Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Near Threatened

Olrog's Gull (Larus atlanticus)


French: Goéland d’Olrog German: Olrogmöwe Spanish: Gaviota cangrejera

Larus belcheri atlanticus


, 1958,

Mar del Plata, Argentina


Originally described as a race of L. belcheri, but now almost universally considered a distinct species. Monotypic.


Breeds locally in Argentina from S Buenos Aires to C Chubut; in winter, ranges S to Tierra del Fuego and N to Uruguay and S Brazil.

Descriptive notes

50–56 cm; 900–960 g; wingspan 130–140 cm. The breeding adult is white, with a black mantle and wings; the secondaries and inner primaries are broadly... read more


Produces a range of guttural and nasal "ow" sounds, singly or in series.


Coasts and estuaries, breeding on flat sandy islands. Non-breeders frequent sea coasts and... read more

Food and feeding

This species specializes on crabs (Neohelice granulata, Cyrtograpsus, Uca) but it also takes a wider range of... read more


Nesting occurs from September, with large chicks present in November. Nests in colonies of 5–3000+ pairs, in subcolonies c. 50 m... read more


Post-breeding dispersal takes birds south to Tierra del Fuego and north to Uruguay. A few... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Formerly considered Vulnerable and currently Near Threatened. The total known breeding population numbered under 1200 pairs in 1975–1977, and... read more

Recommended citation

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M., Christie, D.A., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Olrog's Gull (Larus atlanticus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 February 2020).